A statue of Mahatma Gandhi located at Hari Krishna lake in Gujarat’s Amreli was vandalised by some unidentified persons late Friday night.
Gujarat: A statue of Mahatma Gandhi near Hari Krishna lake in Amreli district vandalised by unidentified persons, last night. A case has been registered. pic.twitter.com/UL3PxNWBQq
— ANI (@ANI) January 4, 2020
The statue was set up in 2018 in a garden near a lake dug up and beautified by Dholakiya Foundation of Surat-based diamond baron Savjibhai Dholakiya, and it was unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2017.
The police are suspecting the vandalism to have been done by people angry over the lake’s construction as it displaced people in the area. A case has been registered to identify the culprits.
“The incident happened last night. Efforts are on to identify and nab the culprits. We have made a diary entry. This may be the handiwork of people unhappy with the construction of the lake or by anti-social elements,” said Sub Inspector YP Gohil of Lathi police station, speaking to PTI.
Amreli is one of Lok Sabha the constituencies in Gujarat. It was an important Lok Sabha seat for both BJP and Congress in 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Even as the BJP had eyed to retain all the 26 Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat, the Congress had high hopes from seats like Amreli, a predominantly agrarian region, as it felt that farm issues and Patidar distress would be key factors since farmers there are “unhappy” with the Modi government.
The Congress had fielded its leader of opposition in the Assembly Paresh Dhanani who had a strong grip on the constituency which was already seeing strong anti-incumbency against BJP MP Naran Kachhadia.
The Patidar leader from Gujarat, Hardik Patel had also expressed his keenness to contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections from Amreli, however, his political ambition’s received a major jolt when Gujarat HC refused to stay his conviction. Congress party had expressed its support for the Patidar leader if he wished to contest Lok Sabha polls.
Though BJP’s Kachhadiya Naranbhai Bhikhabhai defeated his nearest rival, Congress’ Paresh Dhanani, by a margin of 201431 votes in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the constituency is still believed to be Congress party’s stronghold.